Sunday, November 22, 2009
Kay's Potato Gratin
I've been following Kay's cooking blog for a while now. This potato gratin recipe is the first one that I have decided to try to make after so many days of oogling at Kay's drool-worthy food photos and recipes. You can find the original recipe for this dish here and then follow my adventure in making it below.
Kay called for pommes parisienne potatoes but I just had regular red potatoes. So I peeled about 1.5 lbs of them clean. Since regular red potatoes look a bit too big, I decided to cut them into smaller pieces (quarters). So I said to them, I said: "Yo, you guys better not embarrass me with your size, you hear? You sit there and pretend that you're petite little baby potatoes!
So for the most part, it worked out well for both the potatoes and I. They needed to be par boiled so I par boiled 'em. While the potatoes are getting the heat to be semi-cooked, it's time to fried up three slices of bacon.
When the bacons are done (save the grease!!!) and draining on a piece of paper towel, I turn to the three stalks of green onions and I said: "Now, you guys prevent that you're spring onions! Pretend that your bulbs are a lot larger than they really are right now."
Then I proceed to chop them like they were spring onions. Do you know just about how hard it is to find spring onions at Safeways? Very hard. The other day, I was at an Asian supermarket on a totally different mission (not wanting any spring onions) and lo and behold! Spring onions! I shook my fist to the sky and cursed the onion god.
Anyways, back to kitchen. I fished out some sun-dried tomatoes.
There's something romantic about sun-dried tomatoes. The blazing red color plus the shriveling skins just reminds me of a festive summer somewhere warm (instead of the rain and wind of the current Novemeber weather).
See? Aren't they lovely? Are the potatoes done yet? No? Okay, more chopping, please! Mince finely some garlics and set it aside.
I think the potatoes would be done about now. Drain them and pour them into a baking pan. Sprinkle the chopped sun-dried tomatoes on top of them smoking hot potatoes.
Beeeeeeeeee-ew-teee-ful! It reminds me of the flamboyant flowers blooming during the heat of summer in Vietnam. That's what I meant about the sun-dried tomatoes being so romantic.
Back to the bacon grease. Do you still have it sitting in the original pan? Good! Turn on the heat again and dump about 2 tablespoons of butter into the bacon grease. The pretend chopped spring onions also get thrown into the pan. Let them run wild on medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the finely minced garlic to the pan and let all of those flavors infuse with each other. Yummmmmssss! Is that all? No! Add about 1 teaspoon of flour, mix it around. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. I did not have vegetable bouillon so I used mushroom seasoning mix and poured in what I think is about hald a cube of bouillon.
Pour in 1/3 cup of cream.
I snuck a taste and almost passed out because it already tasted so good. To prevent disaster, lower down the heat and let things simmer. Add some dried basils and ground black pepper. No dish can be complete unless there's some black pepper involved!
Turn off the heat on the stove and go look for those bacon slices which were resting earlier. Tear those pieces up to tiny pieces. Feel free to sneak a few into your stomach because that's what I did! I swear, half of the food disappear during the process of cooking...
Throw in the torn pieces of bacon and the parsley (dried for me) into the cream mixture and stir well.
I had strong urge to just make some pasta and pour this rich and creamy sauce on top and call it a day.
Go back to your pan of potatoes and drizzle this maddening good sauce all over.
Make sure you share the love with all of the potato pieces. Leave no potato uncovered!
Sprinkle on some shredded cheese for an extra helping of gooey-ness (is that a word?). I used shredded parmesan.
Pop that thing in the pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. When the timer goes "DING!", remove from oven and allow the applauses and praises to wash over you.
These are like magical potato gratin or something because I also found two pumpkin pies in the oven, too!
Hahahha, just kidding. I snuck those in while you were busy getting praised.
Please go and visit Kayotic Kitchen for the recipe.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and remember to wear sweatpants!